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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just picked up a 2004 325ci with a blown head gasket, other than that, it's a beautiful car and I plan to keep it. I also have a 2001 330i which is not much more than a parts car but it has a strong motor, good compression, low miles, an ideal motor for a swap. Oh, and both are automatics. I'm trying to decide whether I should replace the head gasket on the 325, or just swap in the 330. If I install the 330, I have the ews, dme and ecu to install also, and will the car start and run, or will I have to flash the ecu and or dme before it will run? If so, can anyone point me in the right direction to anyone near Sacramento could flash the ecu? I can do either the head gasket or swap myself, but the ecu has me a little scared. Thanks in advance.
 

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ROLL TIDE!
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Many times, the headgasket repairs don***8217;t hold. I***8217;d swap it all day long. Plenty if guys on ebay are offering DME***8217;s with EWS deletes for $125-$250. Should be a simple swap.
 

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Is that donor car whole car now, which starts and runs? Could reflash 325i dme with 330i program, or take dme and ews from that donor car.. Mechanics is easy, or not too easy it will take quite while,
but it's good idea to find out who could do the coding part, before you start. Even coding is easy for right guy with right tools.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Your suggestions are appreciated

Yea, the donor car starts and runs, and has a solid drive train, and until I pull the head and inspect it, I don't really know the extent of repairs needed on the 325, right now I know I have low compression in cyl.3,4,and 5, and 4 and 5 had water in the cylinders. Here's the compression #s going from 1 to 6. 155, 160, 120, 100, 110 and 170. So, I might be looking at more than a head gasket. So, if I transfer the ews, dme and ecu, would it start up and run well enough to drive it to someone who could flash the ecu, or would it just turn over and not start? Anyway, thanks for the suggestions. I'm thinking about ordering one of the cables and learning how to code those myself, it's a little intimidating though.
 

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Keeping it surreal
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Don`t waste your time and/or money messing with that old engine, just swap it out....
 

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I believe easier way around would be first try with your current dme (bmw language for ecu). 325i program may be close enough so car starts and runs, but then you should update it with 330i program. BUT it's good you have whole car as donor, because you also need brakes and drivetrain for doing everything right. Might need some electronic parts from there also. I know I'm not man enough for coding part, but when you have whole donor car, not just engine, then you have all options available.
 

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I would swap the 330 to the 325, both are “i” I assume? Not xi/ci?

If they are both sedan and rwd, and you have keys for the 330, swap everything over, EWS, DME, TCM, LCM and cluster. (I’m not sure if the gm5 will need to be swapped or not..)

Swapping all of that over, you won’t need to worry about any type of coding. You will also have to swap over the key tumblers though, so the trunk, driver door and wheel tumbler. Not too difficult.

That’s what I would do, but you could also just swap over the dme, cluster and tcm and flash the EWS and lcm over from the 330 to the 325i via PA Soft. If you have it, if you don’t get PA Soft or ncs expert, inexpensive tools that are very valuable for any e46 work.

Also a very good option is to flash the 325i dme with 330i as igr122 mentioned, while you’re at it, flash the euro tube and you can forget about o2 sensors.
 

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I believe easier way around would be first try with your current dme (bmw language for ecu). 325i program may be close enough so car starts and runs, but then you should update it with 330i program. BUT it's good you have whole car as donor, because you also need brakes and drivetrain for doing everything right. Might need some electronic parts from there also. I know I'm not man enough for coding part, but when you have whole donor car, not just engine, then you have all options available.
That's a good point too, brakes are bigger and you do need the rear wheel knuckle for the handbrake portion. I believe the rear brakes are bigger too?

I know the front ones are bigger, I fitted 330 brakes on my 325.

Is the drive train actually different? I thought it was just the diff that has a different ratio?
 

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330i has stronger drive shafts than 325i, so that way you're building whole 330i, not just 325i with 330i engine. They look very same, but many things are bit bigger/stronger in 330i.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Swap it will be.

You guys are great, and you've help me decide to swap in the 330. I had already noticed the brakes were bigger and was going to swap them, but I didn't think about the drive shaft! Thanks for the heads up. It only makes sense, and I'll have it disconnected anyway. I've already ordered the INPA cable, and I've trying to educate myself on the programming, and I'm getting a little more confident that it will turn out okay. I'll post the results when I'm done with the swap, and share anything I learn about the coding. Thanks again.
 

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It can be done, e46=e46 meaning that mechanical parts will fit, specially when you have whole car making sure you have everything you need. If you need outsider help in the end for programming, then it might cost bit some money. Most of all, do everything slowly and carefully. Old parts can gain problems while assembling, even when there was nothing wrong in the beginning.
 
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